Home Contents Inventory-Why it’s Needed in Case of a Fire
Imagine having a total loss of your home due to a fire and having to recall every item that was damaged… could you do it? Would you trust yourself to remember each individual item that was in your home, especially the rarely used ones? Without a photographic memory most of us would find some difficulty with this task in an already stressful time. In the event of a fire, your insurance company will expect you to provide a list of all your personal property that was damaged. By having a pre-assembled Home Contents Inventory you can have piece-of-mind knowing that all of your contents are documented and can then be properly replaced according to your insurance policy. There are several methods to complete your Home Contents Inventory whether on paper or digitally (you can contact your local SERVPRO for a blank copy of either). You will want to make sure to list each item, its value, and include any receipts and photographs along with it. It’s a good idea to update your Home Contents Inventory list annually to include any new items you have added to the home and remove items you no longer have. Make sure to keep a copy safe in a fireproof container or safe deposit box and you can always file a copy with your insurance agent as well.
Emergency Fire Tips
In 2015 there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the United States. A structure fire was reported every 63 seconds and caused an estimated $14.3 billion in property damage. In order to ensure you and your family’s safety make sure to have an escape route in place so if a fire is discovered, you can move quickly to evacuate to your designated meeting place. The aftermath of a fire can be just as devastating as the initial event. Your local SERVPRO is here to help minimize damage and save your contents. Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to a fire without consulting a repair service and make sure your restoration company is IICRC certified (all SERVPRO techs are!) There is a science behind effective cleaning. Proper methods and products must be used depending on the materials being cleaned to avoid further damage. When you choose SERVPRO, you can take comfort knowing your home and contents are in the hands of trained and caring professionals.
Emergency Water Tips
Suffering a water loss can be a hectic and stressful time. Emotions run high and often times you don’t even know where to start! The first step should always be to identify the source of incoming water then shutoff or stop the water source if possible. Next make sure to turn off all electrical appliances around the affected area to reduce electrical hazards and turn off the circuit breakers supplying electricity to the wet areas. You will want to remove excess water by mopping or blotting and make sure to never use a regular vacuum to remove water! Keep furniture safe from additional damage by placing aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting/flooring and make sure to call your local SERVPRO to come assess the damage and get the drying process started immediately.
Commercial Restaurant Loss & Getting you Back to Business
In 2015 Restaurants across the United States suffered a total of $116 million dollars in damages, the average loss being $23,000 (not including revenue loss from business interruption) finding prime days for damage occurred on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. We know that even the smallest losses can impact business functionality and cause revenue loss which is why we are here to get you back to business quickly! SERVPRO of Iowa City/Ottumwa/Des Moines is a large loss certified franchise with trained crews and commercial grade equipment that can respond to any size loss within hours. Regardless of the type of loss we understand the urgency of getting damages taken care of… after all an empty restaurant will COST you money. Once emergency cleaning is completed, our professional team can also offer regular maintenance services such as hood kitchen exhaust cleaning helping to ensure your restaurant is always clean and ready for business!
Disaster Preparedness for a Storm
With the fluctuations in weather, Iowa has been known to experience its fair share of severe weather and storms. Two elements that cause a thunderstorm are moisture and rapidly rising warm air, which is why severe thunderstorms occur most often in hot summer months. Thunderstorms produce lightening which can severely hurt people and damage property. Heavy rain can cause flash flooding and high winds can damage your home and blow down trees and utility poles. If you happen to get caught unprepared, storms can threaten both your property and your personal safety. Make a list of items to bring inside during a storm and ensure pets are safe and any outside housing is secured. Be sure to discuss a safety plan with your family including a safe place in your home away from windows and glass to gather during a storm. Have an emergency kit including water, non-perishable food, towels, garbage bags, and first aid kit supplies and remain indoors until after the storm has passed. After a storm you can contact your local SERVPRO 24hours a day to assist with any immediate board ups needed to protect your home.
Summer Weather and Your Appliances- Fire Hazards In Business and at Home
Often time people overlook the fact that summer weather can have an impact on your appliances. Extreme Heat, Summer Storms, and Power Outages can be hazardous and increase the chances of a fire in your home or business. Be cautious of over-working compressors from refrigerators and freezers, they can get extremely hot and cause a fire. Improperly used extension cords not designed to carry the proper electric load can heat quickly and also cause a fire and considerable damage. During a Summer Storm do not use electrical appliances that have been wet or potentially shorted from a lightning strike, these can be a major fire hazard. To be sure no fires have started it’s a good idea to check your appliances during and after a storm. If you experience a power outage never run cords from generators or other appliances under carpet or rugs where heat could build and cause damage or fire. Being aware of the potential hazards can save you, your business, and your home.
Extreme Heat- How it can Affect you
We all know Iowa summers bring extreme heat! Extreme heat is caused by higher than normal temperature and humidity. Children, ages infant to four are at higher risk for heat related illnesses and need extra fluids compared to adults. Symptoms of heat related illness include faintness, exhaustion, nausea, muscle spasms, and fever. In the United States more than 600 people die every year due to extreme heat. During these heat waves it’s better to stay inside and stay cool if possible. Air conditioning is the highest protective measure against extreme heat illnesses. HYDRATION is also extremely important! Drink plenty of water and if you’re in prolonged heat it’s good to utilize sports drinks to replenish your body with electrolytes. If you must be outdoors you should also avoid strenuous activities, wear lightweight light colored clothing, and take breaks in the shade or a cool environment.
Mold - The Process of Mitigation and Remediation in Iowa City
Our Technician Matt setting up to do microbial growth air testing in a basement in Iowa City
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking waterline, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. It is the water you can't see that may cause the most damage. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, we are here to help and have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.
Call Professionals - SERVPRO of Iowa City/Ottumwa/Des Moines
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call our office. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Inspection & Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment will be set in place that captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents & Belongings
We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. Our technicians use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. We understand mold and mold growth and have the raining and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.
Why we use HEPA filters for Mold Remediation
This picture shows a few of our HEPA vacuums
When doing different types of restoration work we will set in the space what we call air scrubbers. These air scrubbers are HEPA filter units that collect air borne particles that their size is 300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. To a HEPA filter, catching a one-micron particle is like stopping a cotton ball with a door screen. When doing mold remediation we use these air scrubbers but we also will use HEPA vacuums to clean surfaces and trap the particles.
HEPA filters were invented during World War II to remove and capture radio active dust particles that would present a health hazard to researchers. It was invented to protect the human respiratory system. HEPA filters are the top form of air filtration.
Water Removal From Carpet in Iowa City
Our employee, Nick, extracting water from carpet and pad.
After a water intrusion we will use this type of equipment to remove the water from carpet and pad. In order to save the carpet and pad it must be a clean water loss. Meaning the leak had to come from a fresh water line. We use this equipment or something similar to extract the water. This machine is called a rover but we will also use a machine called a hydroX. They work the same way. You stand on both types of machines and the weight of the machine and the employee standing on the machine helps to squeeze out and suck up the water. The machine is self propelled using controls on the handle. The water is then pumped through tubes into a truck mounted holding tank to be disposed of. Air movers and dehumidifiers are still needed to remove moisture but this will remove the majority of excess water. We attempt when ever possible to save the carpet and pad but many times if not attended to fast enough delamination occurs. This is why it is so important to know who to call if you ever have water damage and to do it right away. This will minimize cost for the dry out process and minimize property damage.